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Tahsini named 2024 President’s Fellows Faculty Research Award recipient

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

Dr. Laleh Tahsini, an associate professor in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Chemistry, was selected as a recipient of the 2024 President’s Fellows Faculty Research Award.

Dr. Tahsini
Dr. Laleh Tahsini

Tahsini’s research includes solving the global challenges of sustainable and clean energy by designing inexpensive earth-abundant metal catalysts that can both activate and functionalize small molecules and strong bonds. The one-time $20,000 stipend that accompanies Tahsini’s award will be used to support a graduate student working alongside her to develop new copper-based antibiotics to overcome multi-drug resistant bacteria.  

“This research is very exciting in numerous ways,” said Christian Duncan Hunt, a fourth-year chemistry Ph.D. student. “We have been investigating these compounds' ability to be used as emissive light sources and as catalysts for inserting CO2. By using copper, which is an earth-abundant material, we are reducing reliance on limited precious earth metals. This is important when thinking about green chemistry and long-term sustainability.”  

Tahsini said she is motivated to examine the biological activity of N-heterocyclic carbene copper complexes (Cu-NHC) and find how this new research could potentially contribute to human health, investigate diseases and improve pharmaceuticals.  

“Our research tries to find efficient and affordable solutions to overcome outstanding challenges that impact human life,” Tahsini said. “This includes developing methods that can transform simple molecules.”  

Tahsini joined the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor in 2014 and was promoted to associate professor in 2021. From 2012-14, she was a postdoctoral research associate at Boston University working on electrocatalytic water oxidation. From 2009-12, she was part of an elite international team from the United States, Japan and South Korea working on metal oxygen bioinorganic chemistry at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul.  

Tahsini’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Azerbaijan, a Master of Science in inorganic chemistry from Sharif University of Technology (SUT) and a Ph.D. in inorganic and computational chemistry from SUT and the University of Manchester.  

“It is encouraging to be selected for the President’s Fellows Faculty Research Award,” Tahsini said. “The community gets to know the great research being done by OSU faculty and students. It highlights the importance of what we are doing in chemistry and helps us as a group gain visibility in the scientific community working on health-related issues. 

Story By: Adeola Favour, CAS Graduate Assistant |

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